While the notion of power can be seen as a neutral concept, neither harmful nor beneficial by definition, the western historical perspective links it to concepts such as domination, instrumentalization, or sovereignty. This idea of power as power over is apparent in political, societal and interpersonal spheres, as indicated by problems such as the wealth gap, racial and gender inequality, and countless others.
At the other end of the spectrum is the notion of caring for, an enabling force in the service of individual and social transformation. Care evokes concepts such as altruism, compassion, interdependence and responsibility and is customarily seen as incompatible with the notion of power.
How might we understand the relations between these essential forces that shape human development on both the individual and collective levels? A deeper understanding of their function and dynamics will show how they can be conscientiously and fruitfully allied, and engender projects and actions that promote the flourishing of living beings and of our environment.
LOCATION: Brussels, Belgium
2016 Mind & Life Dialogue XXXI Program